Brighton Festival prepares to go indoors

Monday, May 17 will see the start of the third week of Brighton Festival 2021 and the beginning of indoor events as theatres, galleries and art installations are able to open following the government’s advice.

Chineke! Chamber Ensemble
Chineke! Chamber Ensemble

Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall reopens with classical concerts from world renowned musicians including Chineke! Chamber Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, contemporary music from Cornish-Welsh musician Gwenno and the return of Live is Alive! showcasing the best of Brighton’s music scene.

On Dukes Lane, two shops are transformed into art installations from actress Jane Horrocks and theatre director Tim Crouch and Fabrica becomes a fairytale forest as it opens Olafur Eliasson’s The Forked Forest Path. The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts welcomes HALO, a multisensory experience fusing art, science and music.

Further afield a new adaptation of The War of the Worlds by Rhum & Clay Theatre Company opens at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre. And at Brighton Girls School, much loved authors and writers will be in conversation, including Craig Brown on The Beatles and writers Aida Edemariam, Nikesh Shukla and filmmaker Stella Corradi discuss how they tackle the retelling of history.

Brighton Festival 2021 features nearly 100 events, performances and installations, both as specially commissioned online projects, as livestreams and across multiple outdoor and indoor locations extending from Brighton to Worthing until 31 May. The festival’s guest director is British and Ethiopian poet, playwright and broadcaster, Lemn Sissay MBE.

In line with regulations, all ticketed events are required to be booked in advance. All events will be equipped for social distancing, including reduced capacity seating, bookings in household bubbles and full safety measures implemented across all sites.

Full event details and ticket information available from

Listings: 17-23 May 2021

Yolk and Aliens. 8 Dukes Lane, 17-31 May (closed Wednesdays), returns only. Set within a personal ‘memory shop’ a series of films explores multi-generational relationships and memory, co-created by Jane Horrocks, her musician daughter Molly Vivian, artist Francesca Levi and designer Camilla Clarke.

House Mother Normal. 6 Dukes Lane, 17-31 May (closed Wednesdays), returns only. Digital retelling of B. S. Johnson’s House Mother Normal by Brighton-based theatre director Tim Crouch.

Classical Lunchtimes: Roberto Ruisi and Ljubica Stojanovic. Brighton Dome, 17 May at 1pm, £10. Performing music by Debussy and Beethoven’s mighty ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata.

Classical: Schwanengesang. Brighton Dome, 17 May at 8pm, £25. Baritone Roderick Williams is joined by rising stars Ella Taylor and Themba Mvula.

The Forked Forest Path. Fabrica, 18 May-20 June (closed Mondays except bank holidays), FREE. Enter into Olafur Eliasson's immersive installation at Fabrica, and explore the twisting pathways of a fairytale forest.

Classical: Paul Lewis. Brighton Dome, 18 May 4pm & 8pm, £25. One of the world’s great pianists guides us through three epochs of classical music.

HALO. Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, 19 May-4 June, Wed-Sun (plus Bank Holidays) FREE but ticketed. A multisensory experience of matter formation in the early universe, by Brighton based artists Semiconductor.

Classical Lunchtimes: Adrian Brendel and Joanna MacGregor. Brighton Dome, 19 May at 1pm, £10. Two exceptional soloists perform sonatas by Britten, Bridge and Franck.

Classical: Chineke! Chamber Ensemble. Brighton Dome, 19 May at 8pm, £25. The Chineke! Chamber Ensemble perform Schubert’s beloved ‘Trout’ quintet alongside two folksong arrangements by the remarkable American composer Florence Price.

Classical Lunchtimes: Benson Wilson and Lucy Colquhoun. Brighton Dome, 20 May at 1pm, £10. The baritone, winner of the 2019 Kathleen Ferrier Award, performs works by Schubert, Mahler, Britten and Ravel.

One, Two, Three, Four: The Beatles in Time. Brighton Girls School, 20 May at 7.30pm, £10. Author Craig Brown in his unique style, shares some of the strange findings from his biography in his unique style.

Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita.Brighton Dome, 20 May at 8pm, £25. Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita return to Brighton Festival with a special live and livestreamed event.

The War of the Worlds. Worthing Connaught Theatre, 20-22 May, £20.50. Inspired by Wells’ novel and the famous radio play, this legendary science fiction thriller is playfully reimagined for our era of Fake News and ‘alternative facts’.

Live is Alive! Brighton Dome, 21 May at 8pm, £15. A laid-back evening of subtle moves and tight grooves from jazz, soul, reggae, ska and beat poetry.

Tenebrae: Lessons Learnt in Darkness. Theatre Royal, 22 May, returns only. From first light to gathering dusk, a ravishing installation takes over the Theatre Royal, acknowledging a year of collective grief and courage in which so many have felt their lives slipping into the shadows.

The Informals II Exhibition. Lighthouse, 22 May-13 June, FREE but ticketed. An exhibition by artists Polina Medvedeva and Andreas Kuhne, in collaboration with emerging talent from Brighton’s music subcultures.

BAIT with Live Score by Gwenno and Georgia Ellery. Brighton Dome, 22 May at 3.30pm & 8.30pm. Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA-winning indie hit is accompanied by a new score performed live by composer Gwenno Saunders and cast-member Georgia Ellery.

Spectres. Brighton Girls School, 22 May at 7pm, £10. Talk with authors Salena Godden, Maaza Mengiste and Evie Wyld.

Twitch! Brighton Girls School, 23 May at 10.30am, £7. Bestselling children’s author M. G. Leonard introduces brand new book, Twitch.

AMPLIFIED. Brighton Girls School, 23 May at 1.30pm, £7. AMPLIFIED, presented by Little Green Pig, is a personal expression of creativity and confidence from young people in the local area.

A Quick Ting On Afro (1 + beats). Brighton Girls’ School, 23 May at 4.30pm, £10. The first-ever reading from Jacaranda’s A Quick Ting series, with Christian Adofo and Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy.

Ways of Being True. Brighton Girls School, 23 May at 7.30pm, £10. Talk with writers Aida Edemariam, Nikesh Shukla and filmmaker Stella Corradi.

Classical: La Nuova Musica: Monteverdi Vespers. Brighton Dome, 23 May at 4pm & 8.30pm, £25. Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA-winning indie hit is accompanied by a new score performed live by composer Gwenno Saunders and cast-member Georgia Ellery.

Ticket prices range from £5 to £25

Audience capacity for live events will range from 25 people to 300 people socially distanced.